We sat down with The Wood Doctor to pick his brain about what makes wood such a fascinating medium for designers, architects and home owners to express their design sensibilities.
What makes hardwood flooring so different in comparison to other materials such as vinyl, porcelain and stone?
Unlike the other materials, wood is a natural, living, breathing product. Vinyl and porcelain are manufactured to replicate what comes from nature as stone or wood. Actual stone products must be unearthed and shaped, but the end result although equally beautiful is still not wood. Stone, vinyl and porcelain just do not retain the rich warmth of wood and its elegantly unique character. What makes wood altogether different is that it is grown, harvested, and then transformed into anything and everything you can imagine. Flooring just happens to be one of those end products.
Why do people have such an affinity for hardwood floors?
We have a long history with wood and it’s deeply rooted in our ancestry. We have been using wood for flooring for ages. We went from being hunters and gatherers collecting, even weaving, leaves, bark and boughs for sleeping quarters to working with the actual wood thanks to our evolution of tools. It’s no wonder we took to creating sturdier flooring out of it. I think that in today’s society, we are often removed from nature, and wood flooring reminds us of our where we come from and keeps us closer to nature. It’s why hardwood flooring will continue to thrive, as it has for the past 800 years.
Why does DuChâteau use engineered hardwood flooring as opposed to solid wood?
When properly installed, our engineered hardwood floors offer the same look and feel of a solid wood floor, but with several added benefits: quality construction, stability at wide widths and lengths, no warping, cupping, or bowing compared to a solid wood flooring. Solid wood floors, on the other hand, do not allow for the wood to breath and contract in areas where humidity is high or low. Therefore, when the wood expands, it has nowhere to go. It actually makes more sense for hardwood flooring to be engineered when a design space is not perfectly climate controlled year-round, which is few and far between.
How does engineered flooring have so many benefits over solid wood?
Quality construction… Engineered hardwood floor’s strength comes from its construction and the quality of that construction, i.e., the materials used. Each layer of ply has its grain perpendicular to the previous layer of ply. This sort of cross-hatching builds a level of durability in a wood floor that can’t be found in a solid wood floor where the grain of a single plank only goes in one direction. The result is a solid floor that is more susceptible to damage.
But what about those reports about VOC emitting engineered hardwood floors from foreign manufacturers?
Again, quality construction is the key. Quality construction from a reputable manufacturer like DuChâteau means that they are using the kinds of top-notch wood and glues that promise high performance and a safe environment. Some less reputable manufacturers want to save money, so they use faster drying glues for their engineered hardwood floors. The downside is that while they can amp up production, these faster drying glues contain VOC’s – something you do not want in your residential or commercial space. Really, it’s not where a floor is from that matters, but the philosophy of the company behind the floor. A respectable manufacturer will never place production savings ahead of your health. A Customer First philosophy is why a DuChâteau customer can rest easy.
Anything else you would like to say about what makes hardwood flooring or engineered hardwood floors, specifically, so special?
Actually, it’s important to recognize that engineered hardwood is a much more sustainable approach to flooring. Regardless of which floor you have, a wood floor is only as good as its wear layer. Once the tongue is exposed, a floor officially needs to be retired. Engineered construction allows manufacturers to utilize highly prized slow-growth trees where it counts most at the wear layer above the tongue, and use fast-growth trees for the substrate – an area that is never seen and only provides support for the visual on top. Sometimes being closer to nature is about doing what you can to make sure it’s there for the next generation.
So there you have it! Whether you want hardwood flooring because you like the look and feel, you want a safe and sustainable floor, or because it satisfies some primal instinct, having hardwood floors just makes sense. It’s beautiful, economical and quite simply, elegant.
Feel free to contact the Wood Doctor himself for any further assistance!
The Wood Doctor is in! Phone: 858.736.6287 | Email: email@example.com